40:8 - "the word of our God stands forever"
"word of the Lord" is so significant in Scripture that it
is worth our while to consider it as a separate study:
Expression of God
it occurs in Scripture so often, we perhaps take it for granted, that
God SPEAKS to people. Depending from what sort of church we come, we
either believe that God only speaks through the Scripture, or that God
can speak today through Scripture AND a variety of other ways.
The fact of the matter is that GOD SPEAKS and, of course, when He spoke
initially, it wasn't in a written form. The written form what
we now call Scripture, simply records the fact of His having spoken.
Speaks at Creation
at the beginning of the Bible in the record of the Creation, we keep
finding "and God said" (Gen 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26) and with
no more ado, it was done. God spoke and it happened. For God speaking
is intimately linked sometimes with God doing.
said 'sometimes' because it is not always so. Sometimes when God speaks
it is simply a command or even a declaration of intent, for something
that may happen many centuries later.
Word of the Lord
fact is that in Scripture again and again we find that God came and
spoke and the formula, "the word of the Lord came"
first instance of this is in Gen 15:1 "the word
of the LORD came to Abram in a vision."
we shouldn't think that this is the only way God's communications are
recorded, for even before this we find (Gen 12:1) "The Lord had
said to Abram" and also (Gen 12:4) "the Lord had told him",
and (Gen 12:7) "the Lord appeared to Abram and said..." and
(Gen 13:14) "the Lord said to Abram", i.e. before chapter
15 there are at least four references to God's communications that do
not use the formula, "the word of the Lord".
only a few verses later (Gen 15:4) it is used again to communicate to
Abram God's intent for him.
don't next see it until Exo 9:20,21 when we find reference to the "officials
of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD",
and "those who ignored the word of the
LORD left their slaves and livestock in the field."
next find it twice in Num 3:16,51 in the phrase, "as he was
commanded by the word of the LORD."
it is not used at Sinai but Moses does refer to God's communications
at Sinai as the word of the Lord (Deut 5:5).
next appears in the account of Samuel being called by God, first where
we are told that "in those days the word of
the LORD was rare; there were not many visions." (1 Sam
3:1), and then when Samuel starts hearing we are told, " Now Samuel
did not yet know the LORD : The word of the
LORD had not yet been revealed to him." (1 Sam 3:7)
the Lord spoke often with Samuel is clear from his story, yet it is
not until 1 Sam 15:1 we again come across the bland phrase, "Then
the word of the LORD came to Samuel." This
was when God was telling him that Saul had grieved Him.
Samuel subsequently conveys God's displeasure with Saul, he says, "Because
you have rejected the word of the LORD
, he has rejected you as king." (1 Sam 15:23), and repeats it three
see the next use of this phrase we have to jump some years to when David
is king and has just been thinking about building a temple for God,
and God's word comes to Nathan the prophet (2 Sam 7:4) to tell David
that his son will build it.
on when Nathan has to chastise David, he asks, "Why did you despise
the word of the LORD by doing what
is evil in his eyes? (2 Sam 12:9)
is next used by David in his prophetic song (2 Sam 22:31) "As for God,
his way is perfect; the word of the LORD
is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."
next time (2 Sam 24:11) is when Gad the prophet receives a word of judgement-discipline
1 Kings 2:27 it is used to refer back to God's word about the house
1 Kings 6:11, "The word of the LORD
came to Solomon" which was a word affirming God's previous words
to David, now applying to Solomon.
1 Kings 12:24 the phrase is used to apply to a word that has just been
brought prophetically that Judah is not to fight Israel, i.e. that they
are to allow the kingdom to be divided.
1 Kings 13:1 it is the word of the Lord that sends a prophet to speak
against the altar at Bethel, which was to cause Israel much trouble.
all of these references, we begin to get a glimmer of the truth, that
"the word of the Lord" conveyed a prophetic revelation that
was something quite significant for the moment. It was God's clearly
defined intent being expressed:
every case, there was a significant revelation or turning point.
the subsequent chapters and books, the phrase starts being used more
and more in respect of the various prophets who brought God's word.
Conclude - The Word of the LORD
we conclude these notes, we should note that in every case it is the
word of the LORD and in your Bible LORD there (in capitals) refers to
Yahweh, the God who describes Himself as "I AM" - the eternal,
ever present One (see Exodus 3).
revelation that comes is the revelation of the Almighty Eternal, Ever-Present
God. This lifts these communications far above any mere human
direction. This is God Himself, the One who is above and outside
of time-space history, speaking into that time-space history, speaking
the Word of the LORD comes, it is important! Because it comes from God,
as Isaiah tells us in 40:8 His word stands forever. It isn't forgotten
and it WILL be fulfilled. You can rely utterly on these communications.
When God speaks, He means it, and He really wants us to take note of
further study, you may wish to go back through each of the references
in the table above, and really take in the significance of the word
that was coming. As we have already said, each word is highly
significant in the life of the individual or people.
the word of the Lord comes, we really need to take note of it.
May it be so!
word became flesh" (Jn 1:14). How can we leave this subject without
a brief reference at least to the fact that the word of God became flesh
- the ultimate communication of God was through His Son, Jesus Christ.
As the writer to the Hebrews put it so simply, "in these last days
he has spoken to us by his Son" (Heb 1:2). Jesus is the expression
of God, the perfect expression of "the word of the Lord"!